President of the Nigeria Football Federation Amaju Pinnick says he is only aware of exciting Reading midfielder Ovie Ejaria’s clearance by FIFA to switch allegiance to Nigeria, amid reports in the local media (not The PUNCH) that eight overseas-born players, including Ejaria, were granted permission by the world body to play for the Super Eagles.
The other seven are Fulham forward Ademola Lookman, Jordan Torunarigha, who plays Hertha in Germany, Southampton’s Nathan Tella, Tosin Adarabioyo (Fulham), Noni Madueke (PSV), Sheyi Ojo of Cardiff City, and forward Ike Ugbo, who is on loan at Cercle Brugge from English giants Chelsea.
“Ovie Ejaria has been cleared by FIFA to play for us (Nigeria), that I can confirm to you, I’m not aware of the others,” Pinnick told The PUNCH.
Ejaria, 23, was born in England to Nigerian parents and represented the Europeans at age grade levels, winning the U-20 World Cup with them in 2017.
“We won’t beg anybody to play for us. If you want to play for the Super Eagles, you have to write to the federation informing them of your intention. We will look at your statistics and decide if the player has what it takes to play for our national team or not,” Pinnick added.
“If you get the nod, then you know that you are going to fight for a place in the team. If the others have applied to play for us, no problem, their letters will get to my table.”